Test of Time

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

T’S A BIT TIGHT, BUT IT STILL KEEPS TIME,” SAYS LAILA HAR­ILELA OF HER IN­HER­I­TANCE, A 60-YEAR-OLD SIL­VER OMEGA TIME­PIECE. THE SQUARE WATCH BRINGS BACK MEM­O­RIES FROM HER FIRST MONTHS OF MAR­RIAGE WHEN HER MOTHER WOULD AT­TEND PAR­TIES AT THE FAM­ILY HOME WEAR­ING THE STRIK­ING PIECE. “ONE DAY, MY GRANDMOTHERIN-LAW, WHOM WE CALLED AMI, SAID TO MY MOTHER, ‘MO­HINI, I LIKE THIS. IT’S SO UN­USUAL.’ SO MY MOTHER SAID TO AMI, ‘WHEN LAILA HAS A BABY, I’LL TAKE IT OFF MY WRIST AND PUT IT ON YOURS.’”

THIS FOL­LOWS THE IN­DIAN TRA­DI­TION OF GIV­ING A GIFT TO THE OLD­EST MEM­BER OF THE FAM­ILY ON HAPPY OR MON­U­MEN­TAL OC­CA­SIONS. HAR­ILELA SOON BE­CAME PREG­NANT, BUT HER GRAND­MOTHER-IN-LAW FELL SE­RI­OUSLY ILL A FEW MONTHS BE­FORE THE BABY WAS DUE, SO HER MOTHER GAVE HER THE WATCH SOONER THAN PLANNED. “IN NOVEM­BER 1975, AMI PASSED AWAY AND WHEN WE SIFTED THROUGH HER THINGS, THIS WATCH WAS HANDED TO ME,” SHE SAYS.

CON­VINCED THAT DES­TINY BOUGHT IT TO HER, HAR­ILELA PROUDLY WEARS THE OMEGA, WHICH HAS EVOLVED OVER TIME. THE INI­TIAL TIME­PIECE WAS FIT­TED WITH A CROCODILE STRAP AND A SIM­PLE SQUARE FRAME. HAR­ILELA’S MOTHER RE­WORKED THE WATCH AND ADDED EL­E­MENTS MORE SUITED TO HER STYLE AND TASTE. “MY MOTHER WAS A VERY TRENDY WOMAN,” SHE SAYS WITH A LAUGH. “SO WE KNEW THAT ANY­THING SHE WORE WAS A FASH­ION­ABLE PIECE. WHEN I LOOK AT THIS WATCH, I IMAG­INE HER IN HER RINGS, SARIS, LONG EAR­RINGS—AND THIS WATCH.”

HAR­ILELA, WHO LAST WORE THE WATCH FIVE YEARS AGO, TRUSTS THAT ONE OF HER THREE DAUGH­TERS WILL EN­JOY IT IN THE FU­TURE. “ONE OF MY DAUGH­TERS WILL IN­HERIT IT AND THEY WILL GIVE IT TO THEIR CHIL­DREN. I ONLY HAVE ONE DAUGH­TER MAR­RIED AT THIS POINT AND SHE LIVES IN POR­TU­GAL. THIS IS PROB­A­BLY GO­ING TO BE FOR HER,” SHE SAYS.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.